Airborne 22: US, Japan test interoperability

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Brieana E. Bolfing
  • 374th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

The 374th Airlift Wing supported Japan Ground Self-Defense Force soldiers assigned to the 1st Airborne Brigade in operation Airborne 22, Jan. 25–26.

Airborne 22 is the largest annual static-line personnel jump and cargo drop exercise between the U.S. Air Force and JGSDF.

The exercise integrated 11 C-130Js from the 36th Airlift Squadron, Yokota Air Base, and two from Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, carrying approximately 500 JGSDF soldiers for an airdrop training at the Combined Arms Training Center Camp Fuji, Japan, drop zone.

An additional 100 Container Delivery System bundles, carrying simulated cargo, were also dropped from U.S. Air Force C-130Js at six different points of impact at Fuji DZ. The simulated cargo, which consisted of fuel, water, food, and different types of ammunition, directly supported JGSDF operations on the ground.

This interoperability mission provides an excellent opportunity for the JGSDF to get all the airborne exercise they need, said Capt. Jordan Baab, 36th Airlift Squadron instructor pilot and Airborne 22 mission commander. It also offers the 36th AS the chance to practice its forward-deployed attack capabilities.

Airborne 22 demonstrates the U.S. Air Force and JGSDF’s capability to execute a large force insertion on a drop zone. It showcases the combined capacity between USAF and JGSDF's ability to rapidly deploy joint forces while emphasizing the strong allied commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific region.

“This is a proof of concept that the tactics, techniques and procedures that we practice and train every day play into effect and work pretty well,” said Capt. Audrey Crismon, 39th Airlift Squadron C-130J pilot and Airborne 22 mission commander. “No matter where we are, who we are working with.”